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We Will Not Be Washed Away

Dear Mr. President,

I didn't watch you take the oath of office on Friday. I was visiting a school in rural California. As an author of a children's book with an anti-bullying message, I spend many hours in classrooms encouraging kids to embrace differences in themselves and in others. From the minute I arrive at a school, I am acutely aware that tiny eyes are watching, and tiny ears are listening.

Driving home I realized that those same tiny eyes and ears are watching and listening to you. I thought about your words on the campaign trail. I remembered a moment when you were speaking at a rally in Tampa, and spied a baby in the crowd. You seemed unable to help yourself as you growled, "Give me that baby!" You held the baby high, in a dramatic moment that was broadcast on every news channel for America to see. Then it struck me. You are now holding all of our babies. Through the electoral process, the American people have handed you our children. This is not a business deal. This is not reality television. This is our country. This is our future.

While I drive hours so my words can be heard by hundreds, you send a tweet and have access to millions. With great power comes great responsibility, Mr. President. Be mindful of your words. You hold our nation's children in your hands. Millions of tiny eyes are watching. Millions of tiny ears are listening.

Some days I wake up discouraged. I feel I am trying to fill an ocean with a thimble. I fear that if you pour division, anger, and intolerance into that ocean, my message will get washed away. Most days I wake up hopeful. I know I am making a difference, no matter how small. I also know that my voice, joined with other like minded voices, becomes more powerful. Together our message of kindness, empathy, acceptance, and love will resonate. #WeWillNotBeWashedAway.


Karen Sanders-Betts

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